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Phytochemistry. 2015 May;113:73-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.02.017. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Ethnopharmacology of Souroubea sympetala and Souroubea gilgii (Marcgraviaceae) and identification of betulinic acid as an anxiolytic principle.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada.
2
University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, School of Psychology and Department of Cellular Medicine, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada; University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, School of Psychology and Department of Psychiatry, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada.
3
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada.
4
JVR Herbaium Universidad Nacional, Heredia 3000, Costa Rica.
5
Belize Indigenous Training Institute, Punta Gorda, Belize.
6
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada. Electronic address: John.Arnason@uOttawa.ca.

Abstract

The neotropical lianas Souroubea gilgii and Souroubea sympetala (Marcgraviaceae) were chosen for study as part of a phytochemical discovery strategy focusing on rare plant families in Central America. In participatory research, Q'eqchi' healers in Belize reported the use of these plants to reverse psychological symptoms inflicted by witchcraft. Extracts of two Souroubea species showed significant anti-anxiety activity in the elevated plus maze, a standardized test paradigm. Bioassay guided isolation led to the active principle, the pentacyclic triterpene, betulinic acid, which had activity in the elevated plus maze at 0.5mg/kg. Other phytochemicals isolated included α- and β-amyrin, 2-hydroxyursolic acid, taraxenyl trans-4-hydroxy-cinnamate, naringenin, methyl ursolate, eriodytiol, methyl 2-α-hydroxyursolate, methyl 2-α-hydroxymaslinate, methyl betulinate, and condrilla sterol.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Anxiolysis; Betulinic acid; Elevated plus maze; Marcgraviaceae; Souroubea gilgii and S. sympetala

PMID:
24641939
DOI:
10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.02.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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